My desire to visit India began back in 2009 as I started to watch Bollywood movies , a hobby that was followed by an invitation to be part of an Indian wedding dancing troupe in 2010. I just felt in love with the colours, the dance, the music, the food! I wanted to go to the source of such marvellous things so bad, that at some point, when I was still living in the Ottawa area, I contemplated the idea of applying to a job in New Delhi! This did not happen of course, and instead I moved back to Montreal and traveled to other places. Nevertheless, the idea of one day making that big trip never faded away. Fast forward to December 2016. Mishter Love, who had always known about my obsession with India (even though he didn’t share it at first) found affordable tickets to Mumbai and without much thinking from my part, we got them and started planning the great adventure. Kuddos to my man, who despite having a few reservations, decided to tag along with me to this mysterious destination. Finally, after three months of planning, the day came! We took the plane to Mumbai, via Istanbul. After 8 years of dreaming of India, here I was at last.
Arriving at 6 a.m. does not exactly put you in the excitement mood, haha, still first thing I noticed: traffic lights are a random street decor that drivers do not necessarily follow. On the bright side, it reminded me of my many tours in Mexico City… points for the city lady! Passed my first observation, second, third, etc., came quickly. There are so many things to say about India it would take a 100 volume book to write them all! That is why, I grouped a few aspects about India in three my main points:
Colours: India is a country full of amazing colours: the clothes, the food, the buildings. From ladies wearing sarees, to the shops, the street food booths, palaces and markets, every single place we visited, was so lively, so colourful. My favourite places in here are definitely Jaipur (the Pink City) and Jodhpur (the Blue City) and of course, their bazars or chowks. Varanasi (the Holy City) is also very colourful, especially at night when the sunset ceremonies take place.
Flavours: as you have probably heard, this is a spicy story lol. Seriously, everything we tasted was just delicious and yes, spicy. In most cases, this doesn’t mean hot spicy (a.k.a impossible to eat) but getting bread and rice as side dishes is always a good idea. Street food tends to be spicier, but nothing really bad. My fave foods were the Dahi Kachoris in Mumbai, a delicious Tandoori Chicken we randomly found in Varanasi and the Parathas we ate everyday for breakfast when in Jodhpur. On the drink side of things: of course the DELICIOUS Masala Chai found everywhere we went, and the sometimes scarce Limca Soda.
Devotion: not a surprise here. Most people know that India is a very religious country (see info below). The region we visited was mostly Hindu, even though we saw a few temples from other religions, namely muslim and christian. Religion is very present everywhere you go and you can see many Mandirs (the Hindi word for temple) mostly in two forms: as a exclusive structure in the likes of a palace or as a shelter in a corner of a street (or middle of it) where people will stop to worship the god/goddess this place is dedicated to. My favourite ritual was the offering to the goddess Ganga after the sunset, which consists in putting a mini basket with flowers and a candle on the river. I know, it’s a totally non eco-friendly practice, but it’s beautiful to see people praying and asking for miracles to the goddess. Plus, thousands of candles on a sacred river in the dark night is an amazing visual treat. I also enjoyed the Lotus Temple in Delhi, I simply loved the idea of having a place in which all religions are welcome and in some way united.
- Population: 1.3 Billion
- Official language: Hindi is the official language, English is a second official language. In addition, States and Union territories are allowed to have their own official languages other than Hindi and English (More info here).
- Capital city: New Delhi.
- Currency: Indian rupee (INR).
- Religion: According to the 2011 census, Hinduism was the most practiced religion (79.8% of the population), followed by Islam (14.2%) and the remaining 6% distributed among other religions.
All in all, we had a wonderful trip, an amazing time and, in my case, I feel like this experience helped me in many ways: I reconnected with my urban lady background, I felt grateful for the opportunities life has given me, I discovered new things about my man (one never stops learning about people), and our relationship that was excellent before, became even stronger.
Hugs, K ♥